Trials of the Cybermancer! – Chapter 17: The Longer Stay

Aaaaaaaaaaaugggghhhhhhh……

As soon as I went home and then touched the doorknob, it shocked me, and I realized Moonslash is far from done with his ridiculous trials. Defeating him in mortal combat didn’t ease tensions whatsoever.

And so once again I’m holed up in Karina’s house while she’s away at work.

I’m laying in her bed, staring up at the ceiling, trying to focus all of my disillusionment into a beam of such concentration that it becomes a genuine laser. So far it’s just making me even more disappointed.

All over a stupid video game…

A video game I have been desperate to actually play for so long now that it feels like a legitimate curse against me. The only thing I wanted to do was hop into an immersive world of fighting and dating sim elements, romancing some girl named Aoi or something by impressing her with items I got from monsters I killed, and then having three kids and watching them grow up and leave our lives after eighteen in-game years, and then watching those kids get married and have their own children, and then my character’s hair turning steadily grayer until one day, they’re looking through the mirror and suddenly realize, there’s tears streaming down their eyes, but a smile on their face.

My imagination has blown the limitations of Genesis Crush out of proportion.

This has been all I’ve done the past couple days, sitting around and slowly going insane. The police clearly aren’t acting. Chuck’s been on radio silence. R8PR literally disappeared without any explanation. Karina’s a jerk because she works too hard and doesn’t hang out with me enough. And I’m not even allowed to go to work right now. I’m miserable and cooped up even when the weather’s good and I should be out there making something of myself. This is just mindless complaining but there’s nothing else to do except vent to myself anyway.

I’m starting to wonder if I’m remembering correctly about the events of the past few weeks or if I was drugged and implanted with false memories so that I would stay in here of my own will and actually this is a prison of some sort, and if I start looking too closely the cracks in the facade will start to form, so then my life becomes a desperate escape trying to break out of here without making my captors suspicious.

Speaking of bad concepts for thriller movies, I keep seeing more commercials for that movie Dogsitter. It’s being proclaimed as the #1 movie in all of Georgia this week, so it must be pretty popular. It makes me really want to see it, but I’m sure if I went all the robots would keep serving me small drinks even when I keep asking for popcorn, and suddenly I have sixteen small drinks and only two hands to carry them in. I shudder at the thought of having to make multiple trips to carry all my small drinks.

Agh.

I want to stop thinking about this. Please? Can something please distract me?

Ring. Riiiiiing. Riiiiiiiing.

Friggin’ finally. “Hello?” I greet.

“Hey, sorry about last night!” It’s Chuck.

“Last night?”

“Yeah, I was out scrapyarding again. I forgot my cellular. Sorry about that, really. I found a lot of good metal plating if you ever need a robot repaired, though you’d probably want to take the robot to the Auto Area to–”

“Chuck, what is this all about? What happened last night?”

“Oh! I meant to call you last night to tell you some good news, but I forgot. Anyway it may have been premature, so maybe this is fate’s way of balancing things for us, eh?”

“What happened?”

“Well first off, I got some buddy of mine who owed me a favor to get into Bidbay and shut the auction down. There were supposed to be two weeks left on there, but we got it removed for an obscure terms of service violation.. She says the robots will stop following you for good now. Though… the price had gotten up to $218. You could have made a pretty penny, Morgan!”

“I’d rather die than sell Genesis Crush.”

“You’d… what?”

“Crap. That was supposed to be inner monologue, sorry.”

“I do it sometimes, don’t worry. But this means you can go in public again without fear of being accosted at all moments! With… one caveat.”

“What’s the caveat?”

“Caveat is ‘a catch.’ For example, ‘You get some money, BUT… you have to work a job for it.’ Like that.”

“I mean, what is the caveat for this situation?”

“Moonslash is still around and probably looking to flambe you, and he has plenty of reprogrammed robots to do it with.”

“Well, duh. That’s been my life for a couple weeks now.”

“But anyway, you might not have to worry about that,” says Chuck.

“Oh? How come?”

“I’ve negotiated a deal with Mr. Rockatansky, if that is his real name.”

Clearly it’s not.

Oh, I forgot– I have the likely address of a “Max Gibson” that may come in handy. I will keep that to myself, though, in case there are prying ears.

“He’s going to give up his revenge quest thing?”

“No,” he says. “Not yet. He’s agreed to meet with you in my shop so you can work out a deal to end this pointless bloodshed.”

I don’t think any blood has been shed yet, but alright.

See, this is another thing about Chuck’s Tech Emporium.

This certain tech shop has a reputation as “hallowed ground” of sorts. It is not a place where people fight, no matter whether they are Angels or Earth Groupers, criminals or cops, Alien or Aliens fans; it’s a safe place for all to shop for technology. There is no specific rule about this, but it is followed by all who enter. And nobody breaks that nonexistent rule because nobody wants to find out what the consequences may be.

If R8PR is the ultimate meddler, Chuck is the ultimate middleman. He strikes a medium and tries to help all of those involved in any given situation. …Which is exactly what R8PR was talking to me about the other week when we were cleaning the church. I don’t want to inherit Chuck’s role. That doesn’t sound appealing to me at all.

“Are you going to accept this deal?” he asks.

“The deal to make a deal? Yes. I’ll be over there when I can.”

“Good. The meeting is in ninety minutes. And when you get there, just to let you know, you can get half off all Atari computer products! But I’m giving the same price to Moonslash, so you’d better not waste any time.”

“Thanks… Chuck…”

Well, I guess I’d get over there quick.

No, not for the Atari computer products.

 

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3 comments

  1. The deal to make a deal.

    It might just be the greatest deal that was ever made.

    However, I for one believe that the robots are not done leaving Morgan alone.

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